St. Kitts – Nevis Government Helps Out Restaurants

Tiffany Bar and Grill - St. Kitts

Owner Cecil Rock At Tiffany Bar and Grill
Photo By Erasmus Williams

Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
April 28, 2009 (CUOPM)

The Denzil L. Douglas Labour Party Administration continues to assist small local businesses to cope with the global economic downturn.

During Monday’s Cabinet meeting, a proposal from the Hotel and Tourism Association (HTA) seeking concessions for full service, stand-alone restaurants was reviewed and approved.

The new policy adopted by the Cabinet will allow qualifying restaurants duty-free importation of food, wine, cutlery, plates, glasses, furniture, kitchen appliances and other approved equipment.

Restaurants will have to meet several requirements including possession of a valid business license, is paying the 9 percent restaurant tax stipulated by law, is up-to-date with its social security contributions, has employees with valid food handlers permits, employs a workforce where 75 percent are locals, offers full service of food, drinks and wine, helps to market St. Kitts and Nevis as a tourist destination and must be willing to accept training attachments of students being trained in the hospitality sector.

Cabinet is of the view that this decision will assist small local businesses in their quest to continue to be competitive and profitable.

During the last several months, duty concessions totaling millions of dollars have been given to a several businesses offering various services and interested persons are asked to contact the Ministry of Tourism for further details.

This new stimulus package complements an earlier policy under which small hotels received concessions on a similar range of items, and allows restaurants not attached to hotels to remain competitive throughout this period of economic downturn.

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